The 1750m farm is one he inherited from Margarito and the second one he inherited from his mother-in-law, Analeti. Both farms are planted with Pacas, which is a natural mutation of the Bourbon variety. Evin is young, enthused and motivated to do amazing things with his coffee. In all my meetings with him (I first met him when he was a teenager), I have been impressed with his initiative and work ethic.
El Cielito is in the centre of the Santa Barbara Mountains, which overlooks Lake Yojoa. In the last decade, this region has become renowned for its quality in Honduras. Evin’s dad, Margarito, has played a large part in this drive towards quality and has recently focused a lot of energy into his farms. This enthusiasm has motivated us to invest in his farm and help him to design and finance a new drying structure with raised beds.
Evin (and Kevin) process all their coffee at Margarito’s house, so they have been learning about slow drying practices and extended fermentations – two areas where I spent a ton of time with Margarito.
Here is the background. After my first visit in 2012, Margarito took the initiative to build a brand-new fermentation tank. It was this drive and initiative that I first noticed about him. Since that time, we have been buying his entire production, along with the coffee produced by his father, Juan. From the start of our partnership, I have been working with Margarito to build infrastructure to improve his drying. I have visited Margarito many times since then and worked with him, with the help of Benjamin Paz, to set up detailed protocols for drying. Initially, we built a parabolic drying structure with removable curtains to allow airflow during the day.
The results were very encouraging. His coffee tasted amazing, with stable moisture and water activity readings
-- two measurements that are paramount to the shelf stability of green coffee. In 2014, we worked with Margarito to add shade to his drying beds for slower and more even drying. Margarito separates his coffee by variety.
This past year was very hard for Evin, and Honduras as a whole. With rising inflation, the costs of production doubled, and at the same time, the harvest was impacted by almost 70%, resulting in many bankrupt and discouraged farmers. At the end of the harvest, I sat with Evin (and Margarito and Kevin) and asked how I could help, given that their income is so low, and the expected expenses for the upcoming harvest were intimidatingly high. I suggested that they create a budget for all the pre-harvest activities for me to review and that we (Phil & Sebastian) advance them the money so they can properly maintain the farm and have a prosperous 2023 harvest. So far, they have been having a great pre-harvest season and using the funds to assist their farms well.
The other topic we covered during my last visit was their price. Given their low harvest and rising costs, it was important for me to see them earn a high per pound price to try to combat that issue. We paid almost 30% higher for Evin’s coffee this year over the previous year. The topic of coffee prices is one near and dear to me, and an area where we want to stay at the forefront of the coffee industry.
Every time I visit Margarito and Evin, I am touched by their sincere desire to improve and grow as producers. Margarito is a serious family man, with hopes of providing his children with more than his parents provided for him, a noble goal for a noble man. This green coffee was frozen immediately on its arrival in Calgary, to preserve freshness.